IBD ~ Crohns & Colitis

IBD. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Crohns Disease. Ulcerative Colitis. It is rare for a single individual to have both but it is not impossible.

This is a summation of what my blog offers an individual who has been diagnosed with Crohns and/or Colitis who want to avoid prescription drugs and surgery. And individuals who have been suffering a long time and want their life back. Finding healing naturally will change your life!

I know that when in a flare the stigma has us all pegged as needing a bathroom asap, that we have diariah all the time, that Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis is all about bowel movements. When symptoms are present it’s like this to a degree but it’s about so much more!

Pain, pain and more pain! Iritis pain, debilitating arthritis pain, mouth ulcers, debilitating pain in small intestine, colon and bowel. Debilitating weakness and utter exhaustion, weight lose/gain, constipation, diarrhea, and liver or bladder pain.

Our immune system is weakened, leaky gut syndrome is usually the cause. When your immune system tries to fight off the invading microorganism, an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract.

  • Colon, bowel and small intestine pain. The pain often is described as cramping and intermittent, and the stomach may be sore when touched. Pain may turn to a dull, constant ache as the condition gets worse.
  • Fever or other symptoms that affect the entire body may develop. A high fever may mean that you have an infection, such as an abscess, inflammation or infection.
  • Weight loss. Ongoing symptoms, such as diarrhea, can lead to weight loss.
  • Too few red blood cells (anemia). People with Crohn’s disease develop anemia because of low iron levels caused by bloody stools or the intestinal inflammation itself.
  • Small tears in the anus (anal fissures) that may go away, but come back again.
  • Inflammation of skin, eyes and joints
  • Inflammation of the liver or bile ducts
  • Delayed growth In children
  • Diarrhea is a common problem for people with Crohn’s disease. Intensified intestinal cramping also can contribute to loose stools.
  • Abdominal pain and cramping. Inflammation and ulceration can affect the normal movement of contents through your digestive tract and may lead to pain and cramping. You may experience anything from slight discomfort to severe pain, including nausea and vomiting.
  • You might notice bright red blood in the toilet bowl or darker blood mixed with your stool. You can also have bleeding you don’t see (occult blood).
  • Mouth sores: ulcers in your mouth similar to canker sores.
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss. Abdominal pain and cramping and the inflammatory reaction in the wall of your bowel affects both your appetite and your ability to digest and absorb food.
  • Perianal disease: pain or drainage near or around the anus due to inflammation from a tunnel into the skin (fistula).
  • Higher risk of colon cancer
  • Depression
  • Brain function altered
  • organs shutting down
  • muscle wasting

Holistic healing

  • ayruveda
  • breathing
  • meditation
  • Homeopathy
  • Biofeedback
  • Dosha – vata, pitta and kapha

Diet changes

  • Against All Grain
  • Whole30
  • AIP Autoimmune Paleo
  • SCD Specific Carbohydrate Diet
  • Bone broth
  • Collagen
  • Pre & probiotics

All the above support the gut!

I can’t believe how many people with Crohns and Colitis don’t get that the foods you eat affect your digestive track. Obviously, if your Crohns is flared you have ulcers in either your small intestine, colon and bowel and possibly your stomach and mouth. Having Colitis the ulcers are in the lining of your colon so, it makes sense that what we eat is having an affect on our GI Track.

Other important lifestyle changes

  • Sleep, sleep and more sleep
  • rest, naps
  • Drink water
  • Walking, yoga, exercise
  • Find gratitude in every day
  • Modalities
  • Chakras
  • Self care, love yourself (be kind and respectful of your body)
  • Mind, body and spirit balance
  • Vitamins
  • Other holistic remedies
    • remove stresses from your life
    • grain free, gluten free, alkaline based diet
    • removal of sugar, legumes, dairy, and night shades
    • also avoid sulfites, msg, carrageenan and artificial additives
  • Minerals
  • Mindfulness
  • Homemade foods….go back to the basics

Information on all that is in this post can be found on my blog. Check out the bottom section of my blog to find clickable links to monthly or categorized posts. It’s all here…how I found remission by changing my lifestyle. I avoided prescription drugs all together and didn’t have to have surgery and I am living a normal life. Yup, that’s right Crohns and colitis knocked my on my butt and I found ways to get back up so I could get back to being my normal self.  Symptom free, flare free and living life!

Love, peace & hope

~Andrea

 

 

 

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01/16/15 – 01/16/17

January 16th….Today is a big day for me! It marks two years since I started this amazing Homeopathy and Biofeedback healing, recovery and finding my authentic self journey. I am so grateful I found Phyllis my homeopath who saved my life.

You can not imagine the relief I felt two years ago when I walked out of Natural Remedies the Homeopathic Office in the town I lived in, knowing that I had hope, a future, someone who knew how to help me regain my health and finally a diagnosis. I finally knew what was wrong with me, what I had been dealing with since I was 9 years old.  It had a name, I had words that would lead me to research and find ways I could make my life easier and manage these diseases.

It had crossed my mind to go to a homeopath but I probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for a coworker at my last job who’s son had gone through an incredibly scary time just before I started working there and was also saved by Phyllis, homeopathy and biofeedback. Listening to her tell his story and how she struggled to find her son help, along with how biofeedback and holistic remedies helped him, convinced me that this was what I needed since western medicine nor doctors were unable to help me either.

I am grateful for Kathy and Phyllis who came into my life at just the right time!

On January 12th and 13th last week I felt a huge difference in my thinking ability, processing, and clarity.  Crohns symptoms, energy and overall general health had improved a significant amount over night.  It’s so great….I feel like I’m getting back into functioning normally, I’m so darn close!

I am so grateful for every step I’ve experienced over the past years from fighting for my life to getting my life back.

Now that I know my diagnosis I’ve been able to learn how to manage and handle these diseases so that I don’t repeat my mistakes from the past.  I can’t guarantee that I will never have another flare but I can say with certainty I will never be this sick for this long again.  A usual flare lasts a couple of weeks or months not years when treated with change in diet, holistic remedies, homeopathy and biofeedback.

With proper treatment, allowing the GI track to heal on it’s own and taking holistic remedies a Crohns and Colitis flare can be managed easily. The severity of the flare is the only measure in that it will take as long as the body needs to heal from the damage of the flare.

Check out the rest of my blog posts to see my journey from being incredibly imbalanced and sick from anemia, being malnourished, crohns and colits flares to remission and recovery.

[EDIT] I want to add that I am not in any way against western medicine or doctors. I could make a long list of the people and ways western medicine and doctors have saved lives just in my family not including people I know or have heard about. The theme throughout my blog is that they weren’t for me, this time, for these diseases. 

This is an incredible post to read about Crohns disease

Peace ~Andrea

 

Balancing Life: Self Care

Welcome to One Gutsy Lady! The mind, body and soul are all connected, if one is out of balance everything is out of balance. By learning how to keep your body balanced you can avoid illness and disease or if you are like me suffering from autoimmune diseases you can heal and maintain balance through living a holistic lifestyle.

I avoided western medicine and surgery by learning how my body works, how I deal with life, how to read my body and listen to what it is telling me all through biofeedback and a homeopathic practitioner. Not one time did I resort to prescription drugs for Crohn’s or Colitis, doctors were not able to help me when I was so severely anemic that I finally found help with homeopathy.

Balance Life

I originally called this blog “Balance Life” because my body was out of balance and that is why I was incredibly ill.  Not only was anemia, crohns, and colitis wreaking havoc on my body but my entire being was not in balance.  In the first months after a diagnosis I could finally figure out what to do and what not to do to find balance and healing.  On the long journey to find balance I learned so much about the human body, autoimmune diseases and how to live a holistic lifestyle.

One of the many reasons I ended up so ill was that I always pushed past the pain, exhaustion, feeling ill, warn down feeling for far too long that I was not only physically ill but emotionally as well. I had to take time off work to regain my heath so that my body could learn to function again properly on its own. I’m so glad I did even though everyone around me thought it was unnecessary. I see the difference in the way my body is slowly relearning to function that I realize it was for my best interest. I guess sometimes you have to be your own advocate.

Listening to your body

In the past I didn’t take time for myself or listen to my body and I knew that is where I needed to start. I have learned through this process that the balancing of life is tricky and it takes time, patients with yourself and constant monitoring. Since I can remember I have felt like I had to compensate. Not just every day but every minute of every day, that in itself is exhausting.  Working through chronic pain each day having  fibromyalgia, is one thing now add anemia, graves, crohns and colitis to that mix and we are taking about struggling to function every day!

Invisible Illness

People see me and have no idea I struggle, no idea I have three autoimmune diseases and iron deficiency anemia. I walk, talk, act, and look healthy on the outside but I am far from healthy on the inside. Once I got my gut almost healed and I wasn’t sleeping the majority of the day I found I had energy and time to do something and figured it was time to pamper myself! I didn’t know where to start. I found information online along with visiting the local library where I found magazines and videos about yoga, meditation for good health and knew this was a good start in managing stress and sleep, tone muscles and stay active, among other benefits.

Balance has much less to do with what’s going on around us, than it does with what’s going on within us.  Edie Melson

Self Care

Health – physical, spiritual, mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding and effort to maintain.

Three aspects of self care: Physical health, spiritual health and emotional health

Breaking down self care to make it manageable:

MIND: Emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are emotionally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. Mental health is a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.

BODY: Physical health is the soundness of the body, freedom from disease or abnormality, and the condition of optimal well-being. It is when the body is functioning as it was designed to function.

SOUL: Spiritual health is your beliefs, values, beliefs, principles, and morals define your spirituality. If you are a person engaged in the process of spiritual wellness, you are willing and able to transcend yourself in order to question the meaning and purpose in your life and the lives of others.

Find your happy places

I enjoy reading or watching a fluffy movie or tv series to escape reality. It’s nice to let your brain forget and live somewhere nice and relaxing for awhile.  I love to walk it makes me relax, helps maintain my weight, the rhythm and pace help me think and work through issues, from the day or something that is bothering me. Figure out what you like to do first. Just because certain people jog doesn’t mean it’s for you. I do not enjoy hardcore exercise so I find other ways to get a workout that I actually enjoy doing or I won’t do it at all. Yoga helps to center and align my thoughts and my world to make it manageable. I notice when I am out of balance. If I have not zoned out of reality and submerged myself into a dream or meditative state I find time right away to get back into balance again.

Balance Life….in mind, body & soul

~Andrea

In the Kitchen: Sweet potatoes (alkaline)

Sweet potatoes are alkaline based food. I believe that we need to eat majority alkaline foods. But I also believe that a variety of foods is what is needed for a balanced life.

This link has an extensive list of alkaline to acid foods. Very beneficial!

Types of Sweet Potatoes

Jewel

SKIN – Orange/copper. I find it really hard to tell garnet and jewel sweet potatoes apart because their coloring is fairly similar both inside and outside. To me, it seems that garnets are slightly more redish in color on the outside.
FLESH – Deep orange.
TASTE – Mildly sweet and fairly firm inside.

Purple

SKIN – Deep purple.
FLESH – Deep purple.
TASTE – Not very sweet, and pretty dry inside.

Japanese

SKIN – Purple and fairly smooth. Generally more round (“fatter”) than the Stokes purple sweet potatoes, which are more elongated.
FLESH – Whitish flesh that turns golden when baked.
TASTE – Very sweet and fairly firm inside.

Hannah

SKIN – Cream colored and pretty smooth.
FLESH – Cream/whitish colored that becomes yellow when baked.
TASTE – Pretty sweet and fairly firm inside (Hannah sweet potatoes are considered a dry or firm sweet potato meaning that the flesh is pretty firm and dry when cooked).

Garnet

SKIN – Redish/Dark Orange.
FLESH – Orange.
TASTE – Mildly sweet, and pretty moist inside.

My favourite for eating whole and plain on my diner plate are the dark purple sweet potatoes. I precook a couple for the week so that I have them on hand for easy pull together meals. I cook them in the oven for 40-50 min at 400 degrees.

I also do this with jewel and hannah sweet potatoes but I use them in salmon cakes and soups. If I don’t use them in a couple of days I will freeze the rest for later use.

Google paleo sweet potato recipes and you will find tons!

Have a great week-end!

~Andrea